…Like me, you’re probably not used to the luxury of household &/or childcare help. Geez, last time I checked it was a minimum of $80 to have someone spend a couple hours vacuuming & cleaning my tiny apartment in the U.S. Here, in South America, I can afford help. Problem is, it’s not going so well…
…My first maid stole stuff from me, the cook had an affair with the second maid & both were asked to leave. A new cook was not dependable so the first cook returned but left soon after for personal reasons, the gardener ran off with my lawn mower, the night guard sleeps on the job, & on & on…This is my second year here & quite honestly, household help is getting to be more trouble than it’s worth!
…At times, I feel like the local bank — my driver asked for $90 to help cover his child’s school tuition & uniforms, the cook needed $30 for a doctor’s visit & medicine (What?! He’s sick?). Then there’s the double pay for various holidays. I’m usually happy to help but I’m not sure how involved I want to become in the lives of my household staff & afraid each one of them believes I’ve adopted them & their families. Still, the utter lack of compassion displayed by my host national neighbors toward their staff bothers me & I do want to be a better person. Is this part of the ABC’s of household help?
…By giving directly to people who work for me it means every cent goes into their pocket rather than giving money to a charity where there will, most likely, be some CEO taking home at least $100K. I feel good knowing they are cared for. But beyond the monetary considerations, I have to wonder: How do parents of young children & teens check out all they need to know about hiring a trustworthy nanny or a careful driver for their active children? It’s mind-boggling! Is this more of the ABC’s of household help?
…Being somewhat new to the overseas lifestyle, I could use & would appreciate any advice from other overseas educators on the topic of household help. How involved should I become in their lives? What is my responsibility to them? How do you find a responsible, loving person to care for or transport your precious children? Who do you, CAN you trust? Please, tell us about YOUR ABC’s of household help.